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wndrwmn67

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How does being an authorized user affect credit score
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I was added as an authorized user without my permission and it absolutely showed up on my credit score. It also factored into my utilization ratio, quite negatively. I didn't know for months that I was listed as a user, then it took months for Citi to remove me. I've reported it to the agencies but the damage has been done. My score dropped almost 100 points. 

Reply by
darkblue04

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This is to Tailgaiter (commenting doesn't seem to nest beyond one reply)

Tailgaiter - that actually doesn't make sense. If you were added to accounts with very high credit lines (I assume you mean limits) but zero balances, that would be excellent for you. I assume you mean something like "0 balance / 15,000 limit." This would make your utilization very, very low - which is excellent for your credit score.

If, however, you were added to an account that looked like this: "14,000 balance / $15,000 limit" - that would indeed be very bad for your score.

Just wanted to clarify that. If your score did go down then there was a reason, but being on a 0-balance / high limit card wasn't it. 

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Tailgater

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Once you removed it, how long did it take for your credit score to rebound? I am in the same situation.  My mother made me an authorized user on the accounts with very high credit lines... but  zero balanes,,,, it ruined my chance for future credit because it pushed potential obligations to income to the extreme...

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It will show on your credit

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I am an authorised user on 2 of my wifes credit cards.  One of them she gave to me before we were married over 20 years ago.  Currently due to changing a password change,  our automatic bill pay did not pay the credit card for 2 months obvioulsy lowering both of our credit scores.  So I have done a bunch of research to see if this is legal.  It appears to be treading a grey undefined line.  Any comapny can report to the credit agencies without your authorization.  In other words,  although it would be illegal for me to do so,  I could litteralyy report bad credit to anyone as long as I have their name and address only.  What they can not do is pull and see your report without your authorization.  So with that said, it has come to my attention that these creditors now use the "aiuthorised users" as leverage or extortion to try and get money out of them if the account defaults.  However in these cases, you are not liable for any of the charges and they can not come after you.  THey can simply harrass you  by making you believe that you are as responsible then the account holder.  UNless you are a co signer and gae them your SS# to add your name to the acccount, you are not liable for the money owed, however this will likely (not in every case) be reported on your credit. Good or bad.  Is this legal?  I dont know.  I think it is legal since no company requires your authorization to post good or bad credit information to the credit bureaus.  I hope this helps.  I evenfound several cases where employees were being harrased by bill collectors because they were at one time an authorised user on the corperate account.

What are we going to do about this?  This is obvioulsy a huge oophole in our credit system.  Think about it.  If I wanted to, today, I could call my CC company,  add a enemy to my account, never give them a card or tell them I have ever given them a card, stop making payments, and their credit would be affected at the same rate as mine would be.  This seems obvioulsy not only wrong but imorale. However the credit bureaus are facilitating this because in order to report tp the credit bureaus, you have to pay.  So guess who makes more money when they report all authorised users?  The cr4diut bureaus do?  And in turn,  the credit companies now have an effective tool to extort money out of people that have no real liability on the charges that were made. This is just a big mess.

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 While you are not responsible for a debt as an "authorized user", the credit reporting agencies like to include the account on your report so that a "debt buyer" can use it to collect from the authorized user (who may have a good credit score) when they can't collect from the actual account holder.  Keep in mind, the CRAs sell this information to debt buyers and they include information about who's more likely to pay the debt.  I have a lawsuit against Equifax for this very issue.  Experian and Transunion removed the account when I disputed it as "not mine".  Equifax refused to remove it.  The account belongs to my wife and it's now in collection.  I removed my name as an authorized user and Equifax still refused to remove the account.  I disputed it no less than 3 times.  Now that it's in dispute for one last time while the lawsuit is still pending, they have no choice but to remove the account or report the accurate status as in collections....and of course, if they report the current status as "in collections" to damage my credit score, they're asking for trouble since they already knew the account was not mine and I've never been a co-obligor on the account.  The CRAs know that consumers are ignorant to the law...so do the debt buyers.  I'd advise every consumer to get familiar with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and file a lawsuit if the CRAs refuse to remove these accounts when disputed.  In most cases, you don't need a lawyer to do this and many lawyers won't take a case like that because of the small amounts involved for statutory violations ($100-$1000).  If they intentionally refuse to remove after a reinvestigation, the potential for punitive damages is triggered and there's no set limit as to the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded.

By the away, before filing a lawsuit against Equifax, I began using screen capture software to capture proof when I submitted disputes to Equifax via their online dispute system.  Why?  They can and did change my disputes after they were submitted and in some cases the diputes fell into black holes and weren't responded to....also cases where they provided false dispute results without a corrected credit file forcing me to purchase new credit files only to realize what they said they deleted or corrected wasn't true.

Also beware of the bogus fraud alert on your equifax credit file.  If you only see the words "Extended Fraud Alert" on your credit file with no statement and contact info, you are on their VIP (blacklist) and they will make everything a living nightmare for you anytime you file a dispute or attempt to get free credit files.  Also, they may tell you that you're required to pay for a security freeze when you're in a state that doesn't require a fee...this is done by intentionally prevented you from placing a freeze via the web site or the automated phone system.....the VIP status flag is used to block the services.  The ViP status flag will also block any attempts by you to get credit monitoring unless you purchase that service directly from Equifax (akin to Extortion...i.e. you can either pay us to monitor your files or we will block your attempts to monitor your equifax credit file.).  I know they do this because after they added the VIP flag to my file, I was unable to monitor the equifax credit file via IdentityGuard, Transunion or Bank of America PrivacySource.  I ended up paying for the monitoring and cancelling because Equifax refused to remove the VIP (blacklist) status block.

Lastly, items on your credit file which you are only an authorized user do in fact affect your credit scores.  Some people use it to increase their scores, but they're scores will be affected negatively if (1) the credit limit is decreased and the highest balance is lower than the limit or (2) the account goes into collection after default.  Don't forget, the collection company can attempt to collect from you as an authorized user if they think you are not aware that by law, they can't collect....but they'll still damage your credit by verifying the account when you dispute it which will continue to lower your score until or unless you get the account removed. 

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My husband's card for which I am an authorized user affects my score on here and on other reports I have pulled.  Although I am only an authorized user and not a joint user (did not apply for card myself or have credit pulled for it) it still shows as an account and affects my credit card utilization (even though in actuality I have no access to card) as if it were a regular account.  Maybe the above statements are right, and if you jump through some hoops and write letters to company they may change that, but be aware the default is for it to affect you unless you do all that.  Also in my case I don't have access to the card so I would not be able to provide account number to write them to ask for removal.  So be careful.  Better not to be authorized at all it seems.

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It seems like this thread has split into two separate topics.  I thought from the original title, it was meant to address how being an authorized user affects your credit score (based on limits, balances, age, uitlization rate, etc.). The topic has gone into great detail regarding who is liable for payment when an authorized user.  I'm not sure I've seen a clear answer on the original topic.

I have added my wife to two of my credit cards with high-limits. One has no balance and is kept because it is >15 years old, the other is the card we "use" on a monthly basis because it has a good points program.  Both show on CreditKarma under my wife's name and impacts utilzation, total balance and total limit.  I guess I'm trying to find the risk / benefit of doing this.  Of course, I need to keep her as an authorized user on the account which we truly use / share, but what about the other no-use, zero balance, high-limit, long-aged account?  I'm trying to decide whether to take her off as authorized user or not.  She has her own card with zero balance with very high limit as well, so it's not like I would be taking her down to a low total limit.  Thanks

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